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Lure Coursing for Poodles

Lure Coursing for Poodles

Bijou Poodles owns and bred the First Standard Poodles
in AKC and UKC history to earn Coursing Titles !!!

© 2010 Bijou Standard Poodles

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Laura's Lure Coursing article featured in June-July 2011 Issue of Poodle Variety

Lure coursing has typically been only a Sighthound sport.
Lure Coursing offers a way to measure a dog's ability, endurance, speed, agility and enthusiasm.
However on January 1, 2010, UKC opened up Lure Coursing
to be included as a Performance Event for all non-sighthound breeds and mixed breeds to be able to participate for
"Coursing Aptitude Titles"
thanks to the efforts of UKC Judge Laurie Soutar who wrote the UKC Lure Coursing Rule Book we use today.
~ UKC "all breed" Lure Coursing is not eligible for a Total Dog Award as they do not run with competition "yet" ~
AKC followed suit and introduced the "Coursing Ability Test", for all breeds, on February 24, 2011.

In January 2012 Bijou Poodles heard about the Canadian National Race Organization who holds
Racing events in which dogs of the same breed race against each other.
CARO agreed to accept our application if we found a National Breed Club to represent Poodles.

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In 2011 Laura and Crystal Avon formed the the Poodle Racing Association of Canada and now ALL Poodles
may race for titles and placements with competion and official yearly placements with CARO !!

Basic Rules of AKC and UKC Lure Coursing:
Dogs must be 12 months of age.
Dogs must be registered (UKC or AKC)
Dogs must not be in season (heat)
Dogs must not be lame or injured
Dogs run by themselves not with other dogs
Non-competitive event, with either a pass or fail score
Not timed in UKC, AKC allows a 2 minute timed limit
Dogs run a loop pattern, returning to where they started
The course may or may not be fully fenced in
Dogs are ONLY released by the owner, when the command "Tally Ho" is given by the operator
Dogs that pass their UKC Coursing Aptitude event will receive a blue ribbon with UKC logo
Dogs that pass their AKC Coursing Ability Test will receive an orange Ribbon with AKC logo
There may be two Coursing Aptitude Test offered a day in UKC and AKC
Dogs do not wear a muzzle and are not required to wear a coloured coat (but they can)
Dogs chase a white plastic bag in AKC, Dogs chase a fur pelt or tail AND white bag in UKC
Dogs that do three successful runs receive a UKC "CA" (Coursing Aptitude) Title or AKC "CA" Coursing Ability Title.
Dogs that have their CA title may compete for further titles in AKC and UKC


UKC courses are usually up to 400 - 600 yards in length, for ALL breeds,
placed over an approximatly 4 acre flat field that may, or may not be fully fenced in.
AKC courses vary in length depending on breed.
Dogs that are shorter than 12 inches at the withers and /or brachycephalic ("flat-faced") dogs run a 300 Yard Course.
and must complete this course in less than 1.5 minutes.
All other breeds run a 600 Yard Course and they must complete this course in less than 2 minutes.
~ If there is a question which course a dog should run, the judge will decide ~


The Lure Coursing Machines are a small 12v high-speed motor powered by a car sized battery.
A thin line is then set up around the entire course, wrapped around pulleys that are staked in the ground.

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Examples of fur that might be used on a UKC coursing field along with white bags

AKC only uses white bags for the dogs to chase

(sample course from Wicked Coursing )

In both UKC and AKC the course is a loop that finishes near the starting point.
The course is designed by placing small pulleys around a field in a pattern meant to resemble the route prey might take
when pursued by hounds, so there may be several corners on a course. Usually, a continuous loop of braided string is pulled around the pulleys
by a wheel attached to a motor, and the lure itself is a piece of white plastic bag and a real fur, (rabbit pelt or fox tail to name a couple furs).
An experienced lure operator can control the lure so as to simulate escaping game and keep it just out of reach of your dog to keep the dog's interest.
The dog must stay engaged in the pursuit and finish the course in order to qualify. Dogs may lose sight of the lure, but as long as they keep
searching for it and find it to finish the course, they should qualify. The starting point is also the finishing point, so dogs running away,
is not generally an issue, as the dogs are so focused on the lure, that you have plenty of time to leash them.

Standard Poodle reaching the invisable leash ........................................ Same Standard Poodle after Focus Drills, completing the course

Lure Coursing Training
There are different schools of thought. Many experienced coursing people believe it just happens or it doesn't.
Others believe that you can imprint chasing a lure on young puppies and they'll grow up enjoying it.
My Poodles have very low prey drive by design. So I do need to engage them as young pups to "chase the bunny".
Playing chase games and fetch are also wonderful ways to exercise young poodles
and help them reach their physical potential, as well as to create a bond with you.
I have tried both methods and I found that the Poodles that were introduced as pups to chasing a pelt
were more interested and succeeded at Coursing right away, than dogs just introduced to it for the first time later in life.
I also found that my obedience trained dogs would not run off after the lure for any distance,
before seeming to reach the end of an invisible leash and then just returning to me.
Now I raise my pups to complete, Conformation, Nose work, Barn Hunt, Lure Coursing, Tracking,
basically all things where there is no correction, before proceeding to formal obedience.

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We had the benefit of an experienced sight hound racer help guide us.
She gave us a horse whip to attach a rabbit pelt to the end of it. We then run with the puppy chasing it and keep it just out of the pup's reach.
We then let the puppy succeed at catching the pelt before they loose interest and we let them keep the pelt for a while praising when they carry it.
We do this game of "chase" for only a few minutes 3x a week so they stay "keen" on the game.
We never do sharp corners or circles as could cause injury to a young puppy.
I also use a command "get it, get it, get it" just to excite the pups and let them know it is an OK game.

With a new puppy you need to show them and praise them for taking the lure in their mouth or showing interest before the race
NEVER EVERY scold them for not letting go of the lure, cause they are just doing what you want them to do and you need to be totally positive
We start our pups out on a "Straight run" just a down and back so they succeed without too much effort and gain confidence.
Make sure when they return you get them back onto the lure so they understand they are not just running back to you
but they are being praised for grabbing the lure and capturing it.
With a newer dog or puppy always put them, infront of the lure, so the lure zings past them this will engage their prey drive
Also make sure that all other officials are well out of the way and not near your puppy or talking to your puppy as you want
your Poodle's attention on the Lure and not on people. Always tell the operater "NEW DOG" so they "should" know to keep that
Lure just out of the puppy's reach and to pop it for them.
A new dog and a poodle, will not usually chase something that is 20 feet a head of them like a sighthound will.
The operators NEED to know this and be open minded to non-sighthounds entering...
Before you enter a race please make sure that the operator understands this and agrees to
1. keep the lure right infront, just out of reach of the dog
2. will "pop" the lure and not just zing it out a mile a minute
3. If you are met with any attitude or they don't agree, you would be better not to enter,
as a bad experience could ruin your puppy's experience and confidence

With this young puppy we are encouraging her at the end of the course to "get it" so that she gains confidence
and understands that she is getting praised for capturing the lure.

In this video you see me introducing the dog to the pelt and showing her that this is what she is going to "get"
The officials and myself had a bit of a discussion over placing the dog as I wanted her a head of the Lure but they wanted me behind.
They were told she is a "new dog" and they agreed she could be infront of the Lure so that is what we did.
This being said it would have been even better to have her infront of the pelt as well, but this worked.
Also notice how the official is away from the start and away from the dog to not distract the dogs

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(Poodle that had his paw scraped clean of skin. This can happen when the ground is very dry like sand paper)

A word about injury potential from the Canadian Sighthound Field Association is in order.
Although VERY rare, injuries to sight hounds have been sustained from getting tangled in the braided nylon line
that strung tautly between the pulley system or by typical sporting injuries to muscles.
As any athlete knows, any strenuous physical activity or sport is not entirely without risks, however, dogs could suffer
the same risks by playing in a backyard, or running in a park. In the event of an accident, a veterinarian is always on call
and all of the Professional clubs have experienced and knowledgeable handlers who know what to do in case of an emergency.
Often veterinarians and people trained in animal health are present and can handle just about anything that comes up.
That being said Poodles, unlike more "driven" type breeds, tend to moderate themselves.
Poodles are thinkers and generally will avoid any injury to themselves.

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(This course the string was off of the ground and this dog had it drag along the inside of his rear leg)
We applied peroxide daily and it knitted up just fine in a week

With the increase in popularity of this sport, we are seeing more and more untrained people
buy equipment and set up courses hoping to earn a quick buck. When you race your dogs it is paramount that
you race with a professionally affiliated club or association that has licenced Judges present and experienced operators,
who will approve a course's design and equipment, to best ensure the safety of your dog.

(well these young pups were supposed to be watching..LOL)

Generally when you go to your first event, you will be encouraged to take your dog or puppy near the course
to watch the other dogs and to get them all excited. Dogs learn by watching and if it looks like fun,
and mom gets excited about it too, then they will want to try it. View various breeds doing Coursing here: Lure Coursing All Breeds
Some dogs will do it right away and other dogs need to go to a few practice matches to get the hang of it.
Do not get discouraged, keep positive and keep bringing them out to watch other dogs and get excited with them.
During a practice we may even run with the dog giving praise and encouragement.
Eventually most dogs will do a complete course with enough experience, praise and encouragement.

This is this Poodle's first time Lure Coursing and she is also Obedience Trained

This Poodle is UKC CAX titled and has his AKC CA Title

This is a group of Poodles having a fun race

(Razz, Ruby, Ember, Dare, Ula waiting their turn to race)

Will my Poodle want to chase all cats and small creatures after doing Lure ?
My most excitable Lure Coursing Poodle is also obedience trained.
One day we were out front of my home getting out of the car and she saw a squirrel across the street and like any dog, she started to run to it.
I yelled her name and the commanded "COME" .... she stopped dead in her tracks, just as she reached the curb and returned to me,
missing getting hit by an oncoming car. This same mother has fostered other dog's pups and also plays with other dog's young puppies
without any prey or killer instinct. If a dog has a high prey drive to begin with, then this sport will not make it any worse.
If a dog has been trained to bring out some prey drive, then it can also be easily trained to follow obedience commands
and will probably be lacking a prey drive to chase and kill small game.
Remember there is also big difference between "pelts" and living, breathing creatures.

Lure Coursing Equipment
For Lure Coursing Aptitude Test you do not need any special equipment.
You will need a leash that you can control your dog with and also easily and quickly release on the command "Tally Ho".
However, you can also use the same equipment that the sight hound people use and that is listed below.

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Slip Lead
Sight hounds use "Slip Leads" which consist of a thicker 2" collar (that can be padded)
to avoid injury and or any "correction" to any excited dogs that are straining against their collar
which also has a leash built right in. The Slip lead can have "rings" to weave the leash through or have a snap.
Either release mechanisms are designed to release the dog FAST and safely. Everyone has their preference.
We use the rings model.

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Blanket/Racing Jacket
Sight hounds race together, so they wear different coloured "Blankets" to identify them at the finish line.
Official Blanket colours are very bright and are coloured Yellow, Blue and Pink.
Poodles and All Breed Dogs, run by themselves and do not wear Coats.
I checked out the rules and as of 2011 there is no rule about All breeds wearing coats.
So I decided that I would put coats on my poodles of various colours, as when when I am taking photos,
or Videos, Coats help people to know your dog is in an event and not just running across a field.
Also because they are so fast, different colour coats help me to know "who is who" later when reviewing video.
Because there in 2011 are no rules for All breeds wearing coats or not wearing coats, we will also embelish our
coats with jewels and embroidery, until this is not allowed, as just makes for more fun and Poodles like their "BLING".

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Leg wraps
Protective leg wraps are allowed and at the owner's discretion.
These can be binding tape or simular product. Check the rules on accepted color
as some associations only allow beige or taupe.
These are used to avoid any injury from getting tangled in the coursing string
and to keep long coats from tripping up the dogs.

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Hair bands
Long haired breeds may use a rubber band or barrette to keep hair out of the dog's eyes.

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2 Piece Lunge Whip
This classic lunge whip is constructed of Nylon with a rubber handle. comes apart for easy storage and travel.
Gives you more reach and ability to send the lure out infront of your puppy for training.

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Rabbit Fur
This is irresistable to young pups as not only smells good but catches their eye easily

XII. UKC Coursing Titles

A. CA - Coursing Aptitude Title The Coursing Aptitude Titles are earned from the Coursing Aptitude Test.
1. United Coursing Aptitude (CA) Title. To earn this title, a dog must:
a. Earn three qualifying scores at three different UKC Licensed Coursing Meets in the Coursing Aptitude Test.
b. A qualifying score is defined as; the dog shall run alone, and must complete the course with enthusiasm and without interruption.
c. Three qualifying runs must be obtained under at least two different judges.
2. United Coursing Aptitude Excellent (CAX).
a. Eligibility. Any dog that has earned a Coursing Aptitude (CA) title may earn legs toward the Coursing Aptitude Excellent (CAX)
title beginning at the next coursing meet following the completion of the requirements of the United Coursing Aptitude (CA) title.

CAX - Coursing Aptitude Excellent
To earn a Coursing Aptitude Excellent, a dog must:
1) Earn 12 qualifying legs earned by running alone.
2) There shall be no restriction on the number of judges.

CAS - Coursing Aptitude Supreme
Any dog that has earned a Coursing Aptitude Excellent (CAX) title may earn legs toward the Coursing Aptitude Supreme (CAS) title
beginning at the next coursing meet following the completion of the requirements of the Coursing Aptitude Excellent (CAX) title.
1. Earn 15 qualifying legs by running alone.
2. There shall be no restriction on the number of judges.
3. The CAS title will have numeric designations to signify the number of times the title has been completed, for example CAS2, CAS3, etc.

AKC Titles
Coursing Ability Test
Three titles will be awarded for dogs that pass the Coursing Ability Test the required number of times.
These are suffix titles that will appear on a dog's pedigree with a higher level title superseding a lower level title.
Coursing Ability (CA) - Awarded to a dog that passes the Coursing Ability Test three times under at least two different judges.
Coursing Ability Advanced (CAA) - Dog passes the Coursing Ability Test a total of ten times.
Coursing Ability Excellent (CAX) - Dog passes the Coursing Ability Test a total of 25 times.
Coursing Ability Excellent 2 (CAX2) - Dog passes the Coursing Ability Test a total of 50 times.
A higher numbered title will be awarded for every additional twenty five passes.


Greyhound Club of Canada (G.C.C.) (holds all breed coursing events in Ontario)
Princeton, Ontario
Contact: Laurie Soutar

Oxford Dog Sports
Club holding various Performance and Conformation Events in Southern Ontario

Upcoming UKC Lure Coursing Events
UKC Lure Coursing Rules
Canadian Amateur Racing Association
All Breed Lure Sports Association

AKC Lure Coursing
AKC introduced the Coursing Ability Test, for all breeds, on February 24, 2011 in Calhoun, GA.
The American Kennel club followed suit of the UKC and is using the same titles.
AKC All Breed Lure Coursing announced
AKC Lure Coursing Rules
Upcoming AKC Coursing Events

GRCH, CA, K-Lar's Joyous Chocolate Endevours (brown standard poodle female)
GRCH. CA, Bijou's Red Razzberry of Majestic (red standard poodle male)
Ch. CA,UROII Bijou's Majestic Red Ruby of LS (red standard poodle female)


Sirius Dog Supply
Lure Coursing Coats and Slip Collar's by Sirius Dog Supply

Furs For Lures (will ship to Canada)

Swift Sure - Canada


InJoy Lure Coursing Equipment
(highly recommended by coursers)
Jim Healy
P.O. Box 21, Charlotte, VT 05445-0021
Telephone: (802) 899-4439

Wicked Coursing
POB 164, La Mesa, CA 91941
619-467-0447 or

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GRCH,CA, K-Lar's Joyous Chocolate Endevours (brown female)
CH. CA, UROII "Bijou's Majestic Red Ruby of LS" (red female)
GRCH. CA, Bijou's Red Razzberry of Majestic (red male)
Razz Coursing
Joy Coursing
Ruby Coursing
Sultan Coursing
Ember Coursing
Finnegan Coursing

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